Why dental assistants are leaving the field

Forty-six percent of dental assistants who voluntarily left the field did so because of insufficient pay, according to the American Dental Association's "Dental Workforce Shortages" report.

The report includes results from a survey conducted in June. The survey included responses from 4,255 dental assistants and 5,122 dental hygienists 18 or older.

Reasons for dental assistants voluntarily leaving the field:

1. Insufficient pay: 46 percent

2. Culture: 34.8 percent

3. Overworked: 34.8 percent

4. Lack of opportunity for growth and advancement: 33.3 percent

5. Inadequate benefits: 29.8 percent

6. Communication concerns in the practice: 25.8 percent

7. Family situation changed, wanted/needed more time at home: 20.7 percent

8. Career has not been satisfying: 18.2 percent

9. Planned to retire at this time in my career: 15.2 percent

10. Flexible work schedule needed: 11.6 percent

11. Practice philosophy: 10.6 percent

12. Safety concerns related to COVID-19: 8.6 percent

13. Patient attitudes: 5.6 percent

14. Pursued dental hygiene as a career: 0.5 percent

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